FTC Sues Telemarketing Company for Robocalling Numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry

FTC Sues Telemarketing Company for Robocalling Numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry
Image: Pexels
March 10, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing a telemarketing operation that allegedly made illegal robocalls in an effort to generate leads to sell to solar panel installation companies.

Francisco Salvat and his companies placed more than 1.3 million illegal pre-recorded telemarketing calls to consumers with phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. Those that asked that the company stop contacting them had their requests ignored.

The prerecorded calls made to consumers claimed to have urgent information about their energy bill, incluing details on how to stop upcoming rate increases. Consumers were told to, "push one" to lower their electric bill and those that did were transferred to a telemarketer who asked if the consumer was interested in solar panels.

Some consumers agreed to schedule an appointment with a private solar installation company and this information was sold to the company as a lead. But, when consumers asked the telemarketers to stop calling them, their requests were ignored.

"Mr. Salvat's companies ignored the National Do Not Call Registry and made illegal robocalls," said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Breaking the law isn't a great way for a company to introduce itself to potential customers."

The FTC says that the lead generation company violated the Telemarketing Sales rule by calling consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry, continuing to call consumers who asked not to be called, failing to transmit accurate caller-ID information, and making illegal robocalls.

The FTC is seeking a federal court order permanently barring the defendants from the illegal conduct, as well as civil penalties for their telemarketing violations.